The same day that the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs held its first service since a gunman opened fire on parishioners last week, killing 25 people and an unborn child, residents and visitors got to see how the church had been turned into a memorial.
On Sunday evening, the church opened its doors and invited the public inside the sanctuary, which had been emptied and transformed into a memorial, completely covered from floor to ceiling in white.
Those who visited found 26 roses on 26 white chairs, representing each of the victims who lost their lives.
A single pink rose was placed on a chair in honor of the unborn child. Crystal Holcombe, who was two months pregnant, was killed in the attack.
A recording of some of the victims’ voices played in the background. They were reading scripture, or praying.
At the front of the church, behind a wooden cross, visitors could read a poster of the scripture that was meant to be read last Sunday.
It was Psalm 100, which reads, in part, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.”